The Kogi West Elders Forum, a non-partisan pressure group, has said that having gauged the political direction and power equation of Kogi State, it would support the re-election bid of Governor Yahaya Bello.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Thursday, the group said this was part of a resolution from the meeting it held with the governor in Abuja recently, adding that its support was without prejudice to any parochial interest.
According to the elders, their decision was in the larger interest of the people of West Senatorial District of Kogi State.
The communique reads in part: "We have reviewed the current political, social and economic developments in Kogi West Senatorial and hereby draw inference from decisions taken at our preliminary meetings, which largely pointed to the fact that the government of Kogi State and the people of Kogi West Senatorial District need more collaborative effort and a marshal plan to advance the interest of the district with whoever is elected as the next governor of the state on November, 16, 2019.
"Particularly perturbed about what might be the fall out of the election and worried about possible violence before, during and after the election, we found it expedient to task the governor to provide adequate security for the people and ban any of his aides from intimidating or harassing anyone during the election.
"Similarly, the group is concerned about the poor state of infrastructural development, unfair power-sharing equation, lack of payment of workers' salaries and the nature of political appointments all of which were not cohesive and of no group advantage to the interest of the people of Western Senatorial District."
The forum said it has resolved going forward to engage in regular interactions with the government in order to achieve the aspiration of the people of Western Senatorial District, noting that it has welcomed the promise and commitment of the governor to protect the lives and properties of its citizens and combat any form of insecurity either on farmlands or in the communities caused by the activities of criminals and desperate politicians.
"Whereas the government pledged to continue to pay salaries of workers, going forward, we will monitor," it added.
Signatories to the communique include Gen. David M. Jemibewon (rtd); HRH Gen. Abdullahi B Mamman (rtd); HRH Alhaji Idris A. Yusuf Tawari; Vice Admiral Ajayi Joseph (rtd); Gen. J.O.S Oshanupin (rtd); Chief Funso Ako; Dr. Oluwayomi David Atte; Col. Olusegun Oloruntoba (rtd), Dr. Tunde Arosanyin; Chief James O. Awoniyi; Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN); Chief Benjamin Taiwo; Chief Funmi Bodunde; Dan D. Kunle; Alhaji Isiaq Ajibola; and Deinde Abolarin.